I didn’t know you well at all, but I remember the glint you always had in your eye when i talked to you. i looked at you and thought, this person is different from everybody else. there’s something behind his eyes, there’s something in his mind, that is extraordinary. i remember when you came down to our room and we talked for an hour about the things you were passionate about: people’s privacy, the future, the way we lived our life. at the age of 20 your intelligence and passion already soared above us all— I wish then that I hadn’t been too young to appreciate the things you said. some people thought you were annoying, but you proved them wrong. you went and you did something: you stood out among all the over-ambitious sternies/ pretentious cas students at nyu: an unassuming russian transfer student from courant who- who would’ve thought? actually had the power to change the world. remember those “brain machines” you would build? you said they would make us hallucinate and take us to different places as you secured them on our heads those nights after our drunken college-party rounds of kings. I wish I could build something like that to bring you back, because you were too young, too brilliant, to die. but, of course, i can’t. that kind of talent is yours and yours only.
rest in peace ilya.